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Conservatives win victory in Australian election

Rod Mcguirk, Associated Press

Australia's opposition leader Tony Abbott holds up an ironman towel at a polling station before he casts his vote at Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. Australians headed to the polls on Saturday in an election that pits a ruling party marred by infighting and a much-maligned carbon tax against a conservative opposition led by a man who has never been particularly popular and has long been polarizing.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australia's conservative opposition has swept to power in a national election and ended six years of Labor Party rule.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd conceded defeat Saturday.

The conservative Liberal Party-led coalition managed to win over a disenchanted public by promising to end a hated tax on carbon emissions, boost the nation's flagging economy and bring about political stability after years of Labor Party infighting.

A win for the coalition comes despite the relative unpopularity of party leader Tony Abbott. Abbott is a 55-year-old former Roman Catholic seminarian and Rhodes scholar who has long struggled to connect with women voters and was once dubbed "unelectable" by opponents.